By Brandi Wylie ’24

For Kate Timbes ’23, studying in another country was not the most exciting part of her experience in Copenhagen, Denmark. The studio art major from Columbia, South Carolina, was given the opportunity to become a part of the media team for the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) and a chance to paint a mural on the wall of their student hub.

They started planning the mural in October 2021 and painting began two months later. While working on the mural, Timbes led a group of 10 to 15 individuals from the community who helped her during her 10 days of work.

She was unable to complete the mural because the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to return to the states, but she is grateful to have been able to send a digital version of the complete idea so the project can continue.

The mural is representative of Copenhagen and the cultural world she experienced while immersed in the community. The geometric shapes each contain unique designs, such as a person’s face or scenes of Copenhagen and its metro area.

“I wanted my design to embody what it meant to study abroad visually,” Timbes says.

She wanted people to be able to see what it meant to “find yourself in a new place, discover a new culture and develop a new sense of responsibility.”

She went off of the idea of “play and fun,” while also bringing in an abstract resemblance of the metro’s geometric skyline.

In a broader sense, the studio art major’s style is more in line with the idea of surrealism, with abstract art coming out particularly in her latest mural.

Timbes will soon work on two projects in Spartanburg. One is with the Spartanburg Opportunity Center, a local nonprofit organization addressing homelessness. The other is for the Spartanburg Art Museum.

Michael Webster, an assistant professor of studio art, connected Timbes and other students with these projects and explained the impact that an artist can have on public art, while also emphasizing the impact that public art can have on the artist and his or her future career.

“I was always taught that there’s no career in just art, but Wofford’s studio art program and the classes I’ve taken in it opened a whole new world that taught me that I am not the traditional type of learner. I learn through my creative processes,” Timbes says.